Be the change
Team building is usually associated with doing a few crazy outdoor activities, playing silly games or attending conferences. While these events can be a great deal of fun, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. The fact that these types of corporate events are now discouraged due to the pandemic may have some staff feeling relieved. But for others the lack of social fun in the workplace combined with the stress and anxiety most people are experiencing about the economic situation, is leaving staff feeling quite unmotivated.So what can you do as an employee to help build up the vibe again in the workplace?
It’s easy enough to say “Hi, how are you doing?” and move on after you’ve gotten the standard response of “I’m fine.” But the reality is that most people aren’t fine. They’re just pretending to be fine while holding on for dear life. Emotionally, mentally and physically people are fatigued and they don’t want to talk about it because either they feel embarrassed about it, or they recognise that there are people far worse off than them and they don’t want to complain. So how do you deal with the elephant in the room without being intrusive?
You start to build genuine, real relationships with work colleagues. Relationships that go beyond hello. Relationships where you really get to know about their lives. Do they have a family? Do they have pets? Do they enjoy hiking, cycling or running? Do they enjoy baking, or gardening? Building things, creating things? Watching sci-fi movies? As you start to have conversations it’s very likely you’ll find common interests on which to build a genuine friendship.
Finding common ground is not only important in terms of building personal friendships in the workplace, it can also help facilitate better collaboration between teams. There’s often a crossover of skills or responsibilities in larger organisations, and teams can sometimes get quite defensive about their territory. However, when there is a broader understanding of company operations and what the business is trying to achieve, it creates opportunities for business units to work together. Instead of taking away from one team, it can actually streamline their efforts when there’s a fresh perspective from someone else. The more collaboration and sharing of knowledge, the more vibrant the workplace becomes. It energises teams and individuals and encourages idea sharing and innovation.
A smile may seem like such an insignificant thing, but it can make a world of difference to those around you. If you’re positive, you can influence those around you to have a better day and feel more motivated. And all it takes is a smile. When you’re conscious about being more positive as you interact with people it can help uplift their spirits too. A shared laugh is medicine for the soul and can dust away the shadows of anxiety. You can be sure that your work colleagues will be really grateful for the sunshine that you bring into the workplace if you display a positive attitude and a smile on a daily basis.
Similarly, if you display gratitude and appreciation for those around you, they will feel more valued and that the work they do matters. Now, more than ever people need to feel as though they have a purpose in life that goes beyond earning a salary. When they are made to feel as though they’re contributing something of value through their expertise and effort, it supports that sense of purpose.
When you think about it, each of these things requires only minimal effort, but can make a big impact. In the words of Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”